Because Americans are now addicted to online shopping, our nation's delivery-related resource consumption has sky-rocketed. Plus, because many people can't be bothered to break down/flatten a cardboard box (or remove other garbage) before tossing it into a recycling dumpster, enormous, gas-guzzling, exhaust-spewing trucks must be frequently dispatched to empty "full" cardboard recycling dumpsters that contain 90% air.
Meanwhile, Clear Creek Disposal, Ketchum's garbage removal and recycling contractor, will soon begin billing every Ketchum homeowner and business an additional $16.80/year—to pay for a new recycling site cardboard compactor; said compactor will apparently whirr into action (and consume energy) every time someone inserts a box. (The big truck will still make occasional emptying visits.)
In the greater scheme of things, failing to make a small civic contribution such as flattening one's cardboard boxes before recycling them is obviously very small potatoes. Yet, if humans can't deal with something so easy, it's no surprise that we struggle with the big stuff. Wherever possible, please chip in for the benefit of all.
Jeremy Fryberger, Ketchum